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China's three astronauts from Shenzhou-14 mission successfully return to earth


The crew returned to earth on Sunday after six months aboard the Tiangong space station, the Chinese space agency announced.

Three Chinese astronauts from the Shenzhou-14 mission returned to Earth on Sunday after six months in space.

The crew, which had been aboard the Tiangong space station since early June, landed at the Dongfeng site in Inner Mongolia (northern China) at 8:09 p.m. Beijing time (1:09 p.m. Paris time), the agency said. Chinese space agency, quoted by the official Xinhua agency, describing their mission as "total success".

According to medical staff, mission commander Chen Dong, China's first female astronaut Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe are all in good health.

They had been tasked with overseeing the final phases of construction of the space station, the crown jewel of China's ambitious space program.

The last module of the space station under construction had docked at the end of October, a crucial step before the completion of the assembly of the station scheduled for the end of the year.

"I am honored to witness the formation of the basic configuration of our space station," said Chen, an air force pilot who became the first Chinese astronaut to stay in orbit for more than 200 days, according to Xinhua.

The relay to the three astronauts of Shenzhou-15

The crew handed over to the three astronauts of the Shenzhou-15 mission, who had arrived at the Tiangong station at the end of November.

It was the first in-orbit crew transfer by Chinese astronauts.

China was barred from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011 when the United States banned NASA from partnering with Beijing.

When completed, the Tiangong space station is expected to weigh 90 tons - about a quarter of the ISS - and be similar in size to the former Russian-Soviet Mir station.

The Tiangong space station (“Heavenly Palace”), also known by its acronym CSS (for “Chinese space station” in English), will operate for about ten years and will host various near-zero gravity experiments.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2022-12-04

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